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Treena Arinzeh - New Jersey Institute of Technology. Newark, NJ, US

Treena Arinzeh Treena Arinzeh

Professor | New Jersey Institute of Technology


Professor Arinzeh specializes in stem cell tissue engineering, developing biomaterial repair of bone, cartilage and musculoskeletal tissues



Treena Arinzeh Publication




Growing tissue using design at the small scale: Treena Arinzeh at TEDxNJIT NJIT Board of Overseers Award - Treena Arinzeh NJIT Board of Overseers Excellence in Research Prize & Medal - Treena Arinzeh Treena Livingston Arinzeh | Newark St. Patrick's Day | John Matsinger | Steve Adubato | One on One The Arinzeh Lab at NJIT




Treena Livingston Arinzeh, PhD, professor of biomedical engineering at NJIT, has earned national recognition for her commitment to making adult stem cell therapy a future reality. Her research interests are in stem cell tissue engineering and applied biomaterials, with a focus in the development of functional biomaterials that can accelerate repair utilizing stem cells and other cell types. She develops biomaterial strategies for the repair of bone, cartilage and other related musculoskeletal tissues. Her research interests also include nerve tissue regeneration, specifically spinal cord.

In fall 2004, President Bush awarded Arinzeh the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest national honor that a young researcher can receive. In 2003, the National Science Foundation also gave Arinzeh its highest honor--a Faculty Early Career Development award that included a $400,000 research grant.

Arinzeh’s most cited work to date, in a paper in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, demonstrated that adult stem cells taken from one person could be implanted in another without being rejected. It was among the most significant findings in stem cell research in the past few years.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

Musculoskeletal Injuries

Stem Cell Biology and Engineering

Biomedical Engineering



Tissue Engineering

Accomplishments (6)

Thomas Edison Patent Award, R&D Council of NJ


Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Fellow


Technology Rising Star Award, 21st Women of Color STEM Conference


Grio Award (professional)


Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers


National Science Foundation - Faculty Early Career Development ($400,000)


Education (3)

University of Pennsylvania: PhD, Bioengineering 1999

Johns Hopkins University: MSE, Biomedical Engineering 1994

Rutgers University: BS, Mechanical Engineering 1992

Media Appearances (5)

The Science Center Just Tallied Its Complete Diversity Data for the First Time

Philadephia  online


Treena Arinzeh participated in the Science Center’s QED program, receiving funding, access to a business advisor, support in developing a business plan and a commercialization pathway for further development of technology created in her laboratory at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Arinzeh’s lab developed a bone graft substitute that can be used to treat skeletal defects that may result due to trauma or disease. She is now in the process of starting a business with mentors that she met in the program.

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NJIT Inventors Are Beating New Paths To The Marketplace

Public Now  online

Most recently, Treena Arinzeh, director of NJIT's Tissue Engineering and Applied Biomaterials Laboratory, won a grant from the University City Science Center in Philadelphia to commercialize technology to reduce the recovery time and cost associated with bone graft procedures. Arinzeh received $100,000 from the Science Center's QED Proof-of-Concept Program, which NJIT is matching, to further develop and deploy a bioactive composite matrix she invented to serve as a bone graft substitute. The matrix is designed to work alone or in combination with a patient's own bone marrow to repair bone defects.

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Vanguard Series Leaders in Higher Education



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Women engineers and scientists still making inroads



The younger scientists are more assertive and understand the system. They are women like Treena Arinzeh, 39, a New Jersey Institute of Technology biomedical assistant professor who says networking and ease with male colleagues is "just part of what I grew up with."...

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Grants Made to Commercialize Bone, Cancer Research

Science & Enterprise  online


Treena Arinzeh, director of the Tissue Engineering and Applied Biomaterials lab at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, received a QED grant for her work developing a technology for bone grafts that combines composite biomaterials in a matrix scaffold with a person’s own bone marrow stem cells to promote bone healing. In a paper published in December 2017, Arinzeh and colleagues show the fibrous scaffold has an inherent electrical field that stimulates the transformation of stem cells into bone and supporting tissue. “The cells attach readily,” says Arinzeh in a university statement, “because it has a fiber structure with a high surface area that allows for cells to stretch across and anchor themselves to the material. It also has a high porosity so bone tissue can grow inside and throughout the matrix.”

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Patents (1)

Electrospun electroactive polymers for regenerative medicine applications



Due to the size and complexity of tissues such as the spinal cord and articular cartilage, specialized constructs incorporating cells as well as smart materials may be a promising strategy for achieving functional recovery. Aspects of the present invention describe the use of an electroactive, or piezoelectric, material that will act as a scaffold for stem cell induced tissue repair. Embodiments of the inventive material can also act alone as an electroactive scaffold for repairing tissues...

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Articles (8)

Biodegradable zinc oxide composite scaffolds promote osteochondral differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells

Biotechnology and bioengineering

Ateka Khader, Treena Livingston Arinzeh


Osteoarthritis (OA) involves the degeneration of articular cartilage and subchondral bone. The capacity of articular cartilage to repair and regenerate is limited. A biodegradable, fibrous scaffold containing zinc oxide (ZnO) was fabricated and evaluated for osteochondral tissue engineering applications. ZnO has shown promise for a variety of biomedical applications but has had limited use in tissue engineering.

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Investigation of glycosaminoglycan mimetic scaffolds for neurite growth

Acta biomaterialia

Roseline Menezes, Sharareh Hashemi, Richard Vincent, George Collins, James Meyer, Marcus Foston, Treena L Arinzeh


Spinal cord injury can lead to severe dysfunction as a result of limited nerve regeneration that is due to an inhibitory environment created at the site of injury. Neural tissue engineering using materials that closely mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM) during neural development could enhance neural regeneration. Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are sulfated polysaccharides, have been shown to modulate axonal outgrowth in neural tissue depending upon the position and degree of sulfation. Cellulose sulfate (CelS), which is a GAG mimetic, was evaluated for its use in promoting neurite extension. Aligned fibrous scaffolds containing gelatin blended with 0.25% partially sulfated cellulose sulfate (pCelS), having sulfate predominantly at the 6-carbon position of the glucose monomer unit, and fully sulfated cellulose sulfate (fCelS), which is sulfated at the 2-, 3-, and 6-carbon positions of the glucose monomer unit …

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Aligned fibrous PVDF-TrFE scaffolds with Schwann cells support neurite extension and myelination in vitro

Journal of neural engineering

Siliang Wu, Ming-Shuo Chen, Patrice Maurel, Yee-shuan Lee, Mary Bartlett Bunge, Treena Livingston Arinzeh


Polyvinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene (PVDF-TrFE), which is a piezoelectric, biocompatible polymer, holds promise as a scaffold in combination with Schwann cells (SCs) for spinal cord repair. Piezoelectric materials can generate electrical activity in response to mechanical deformation, which could potentially stimulate spinal cord axon regeneration. Our goal in this study was to investigate PVDF-TrFE scaffolds consisting of aligned fibers in supporting SC growth and SC-supported neurite extension and myelination in vitro.

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Piezoelectric materials for tissue regeneration: A review

Acta Biomaterialia

Amir Hossein Rajabi, Michael Jaffe, Treena Livingston Arinzeh

2015 The discovery of piezoelectricity, endogenous electric fields and transmembrane potentials in biological tissues raised the question whether or not electric fields play an important role in cell function. It has kindled research and the development of technologies in emulating biological electricity for tissue regeneration. Promising effects of electrical stimulation on cell growth and differentiation and tissue growth has led to interest in using piezoelectric scaffolds for tissue repair...

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An investigation of common crosslinking agents on the stability of electrospun collagen scaffolds

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A

Gloria Portocarrero Huang, Shobana Shanmugasundaram, Pallavi Masih, Deep Pandya, Suwah Amara, George Collins, Treena Livingston Arinzeh

2014 Electrospinning is a widely used processing method to form fibrous tissue engineering scaffolds that mimic the structural features of the native extracellular matrix. Electrospun fibers made of collagen have been sought because it is a natural structural protein that supports cell attachment and growth. Yet, conventional solvents used to electrospin collagen can result in the loss of hydrolytic stability and fiber morphology of the scaffold...

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Examining the formulation of emulsion electrospinning for improving the release of bioactive proteins from electrospun fibers

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A

Tonye Briggs, Treena Livingston Arinzeh

2013 Emulsion electrospinning has been sought as a method to prepare fibrous materials/scaffolds for growth factor delivery. Emulsion conditions, specifically sonication and the addition of a surfactant, were evaluated to determine their effect on the release and bioactivity of proteins from electrospun scaffolds. Polycaprolactone (PCL) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO/PCL) blends were evaluated where PEO, a hydrophilic polymer, was shown to enhance the incorporation of proteins...

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Electrospun nanofibrous materials for neural tissue engineering


Yee-Shuan Lee, Treena Livingston Arinzeh

2011 The use of biomaterials processed by the electrospinning technique has gained considerable interest for neural tissue engineering applications. The tissue engineering strategy is to facilitate the regrowth of nerves by combining an appropriate cell type with the electrospun scaffold. Electrospinning can generate fibrous meshes having fiber diameter dimensions at the nanoscale and these fibers can be nonwoven or oriented to facilitate neurite extension via contact guidance. This article reviews studies evaluating the effect of the scaffold's architectural features such as fiber diameter and orientation on neural cell function and neurite extension. Electrospun meshes made of natural polymers, proteins and compositions having electrical activity in order to enhance neural cell function are also discussed.

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Biphasic calcium phosphate ceramics for bone regeneration and tissue engineering applications


Sonja Ellen Lobo, Treena Livingston Arinzeh

2010 Biphasic calcium phosphates (BCP) have been sought after as biomaterials for the reconstruction of bone defects in maxillofacial, dental and orthopaedic applications. They have demonstrated proven biocompatibility, osteoconductivity, safety and predictability in in vitro, in vivo and clinical models. More recently, in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that BCP can be osteoinductive. In the field of tissue engineering, they represent promising scaffolds capable of carrying and modulating the behavior of stem cells. This review article will highlight the latest advancements in the use of BCP and the characteristics that create a unique microenvironment that favors bone regeneration.

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